UNAIR NEWS – There are many choices of activities students can do during the break of the semester. They may look for work experience through internship programs, develop social awareness through volunteering activities, learn new skills by taking courses or just go travelling to escape from their routines.
Meanwhile, Rifdatus Samaha (Rifda) and Noor Faizah Balqis (Aqis), two students of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) spent their holidays by looking for new experiences in Thailand, at Mahidol University (MU). They are on a student exchange program with eleven FKM UNAIR students.
They took part in a week-long student exchange program from Sunday, June 30, to Saturday, July 6, 2019. Although it is quite short, they learned many new experiences and life lessons.
New Learning Atmosphere
In the student exchange program, they attend classes in the Department of Community Health, Faculty of Public Health. Specifically, they learned about community engagement with group discussion methods, games, and presentations.
“When we discussed group development, the learning method used is games relatable to the community. So the issues taken really happened and there is a process in the community, “explained Aqis.
They did not only study in class, but they were also invited to visit the MU library and go around MU Salaya.
No Need for Fluent English
Not as they had imagined about joining the student exchange program. Just like in Indonesia, not every student and lecturer is fluent in English. Even so, the students and lecturers were so friendly and very enthusiastic to interact with them.
“Although there is a language problem, our friends are so friendly and they keep trying to communicate from using Google translate to body language,” Aqis said.
Being a Muslim minority there is not easy. There are many principles that they must uphold so that they are not complacent with their conditions. Among them are the principles on food and prayers.
According to Rifda, it is quite difficult to find halal food in Thailand. So they must be careful when they chose their food.
“Even when there is halal label, if there is doubt, it should be avoided,” Rifda explained.
Furthermore, they rarely heard the call to prayer as a reminder to pray due to limited prayer rooms and mosques. So, they must strengthen themselves to maintain their religious commitment.
“As a Muslim, we must have high integrity to uphold our principles,” Rifda stated.